Visitors to the exhibition are introduced to the techniques and equipment used in a laboratory, from glass pipettes to modern pipetting robots. At audio stations, various molecules tell the fascinating story of their own discovery. And from the start, the exhibition is interactive. At one lab station, visitors can try their hand at pyrotechnics, choosing their own colors, designing their own fireworks, and lighting them off. Pyrochemicals exemplify the wide range of products manufactured by the chemical industry.
One part of the exhibition is devoted to the discovery of hormones. A rich source of male sex hormones turned out to be bull testicles. To more easily extract the desired hormones from them, they first had to be chopped up. The Schering research lab built its own tools for cutting these rather robust organs.
Schering AG, ca. 1950, on loan from Schering AG
Humans have long tried to protect crops from pests by applying poisonous salts and other substances to them, as insects and molds have perennially led to the loss of entire harvests. The duster on display here comes from the 1930s. By turning the hand crank, the powder was evenly distributed and the plants were dusted with insecticide. The person using the duster worked in a cloud of calcium arsenate, Paris green, or DDT.
ca. 1935, gift of the Kreisagrarmuseum Dorf Mecklenburg
Down to the 17th century, pills had to be rolled individually by hand. Only when pill boards like this were introduced could production be simplified. To use it, a kneadable paste first had to be mixed. Once the right consistency was reached, the mass was rolled into a cord that had the same width as the grooved surface of the pill board. There were no precise instructions, so a pill’s properties (decay, dissolution, release) could not be predicted.
J. W. Pindar & Co., 1880, on loan from Schering AG
The Korsch PH 300 is a standard rotary tablet press of the kind that has been used in industrial production since the 1980s. A rotating turret turns the round die table. Powder that has been fed into a die is pressed into the form of a tablet by an upper and lower punch. The tablet then slides down onto a conveyor belt. This machine has 43 sets of punches and dies. In standard operation, it can produce 216,000 tablets per hour. It was state of the art when it was built.
Korsch AG, 1984